Are you feeling stressed and tense? Are you getting enough sleep?
You can’t cope with stress when you are tired and suffering from lack of sleep…
BUT you can’t get to sleep when you are tense and stressed!…
It is a catch-22 situation and needs to be remedied quickly…
In fact, lack of sleep is endemic in our society…
Chances are that you are sleepier than you think you are. And the effects of lack of sleep are making it worse! …
And, chances are even better that no matter what stresses you are dealing with, sleeping will help you heal!
“Nearly all of us need more sleep than we get. I believe a sudden wave of drowsiness should be taken as seriously as the chest pain that might signal a heart attack,” says Dr. William Dement, professor of psychiatry and behavioural science at Stanford University. “Drowsiness is an urgent signal that should not be ignored, particularly in situations where dozing, inattention or impaired performance could lead to catastrophe. In such situations, stop what you are doing and take a nap!”
Tests have shown major improvements in alertness and intellectual performance after spending ten hours in bed a night for six consecutive nights…
Prevention of thousands of motor vehicle deaths a year is reason enough for us to get more sleep, but a good night’s sleep contributes to stress relief, health and longevity in many other ways as well…
5 Good Reasons To Beat Effects Of Lack Of Sleep
1. The Common Cold
Ever catch a cold or flu after staying awake all night? I have!
The reason is that without adequate rest, the body cannot fully recover from day-to-day stresses and the immune system cannot fully defend against disease-causing micro-organisms. Surveys show that compared with people who sleep normally, people who have sleeping problems and experience lack of sleep report more illnesses and take longer to recover from them. You know how difficult it is to cope with everyday stress when you are not feeling well. One of the very real effects of lack of sleep is a compromised immune system… So do yourself a favor and get a good night’s sleep and stay healthy.
2. Heart Disease
The connection between sleep and heart disease is snoring. Even though snoring is dismissed as an annoyance, it can be a red flag for heart disease.
Does your partner snore loudly, with bouts of thrashing around and then choking silence? Do they complain of daytime drowsiness – one of the effects of lack of sleep? He or she may be suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea strains the heart, elevates blood pressure and increases the risk of heart attck and heart failure. So if you suspect that your partner (or yourself) may be suffering from sleep apnea, encourage them to discuss it with their doctor.
A nine-year study by the California Department of Health showed that adults who slept six hours or less a night had significantly higher death rates from all causes than those who slept seven hours or more. Not surprisingly, motor vehicle accidents accounted for many of the fatalities among those who slept the least… it is well known that one of the effects of lack of sleep is ‘falling asleep at the wheel’. Interestingly, how you schedule your sleep appears to be as important as how much sleep you get. The study revealed an association between untimely death and shift work, the increasingly common practice of working through the night and the practice of switching shifts frequently…
And those whose jobs require them to switch shifts – physicians, nurses, police, firefighters, pilots and bus drivers, amongst others – are five times more likely to experience mental stress problems than people who work days. If you cannot change your sleep schedule, make sure you sleep at least 8 hours out of every 24.
The best place to be when you feel sick is in bed! Right? Why is this? Because an increased need for sleep is the body’s way of getting better. Most growth and recovery from illness takes place during sleep, specifically during the deepest, or delta, stage. Children sleep more than adults because they are growing BUT one of the effects of lack of sleep in adults is the opposite – a physical decline due to limiting the body’s ability to repair itself because we don’t sleep enough. You may not be able to ‘sleep like a baby’ anymore as you get older, but for general well-being and recovery from illness, few therapies beat a good night’s sleep.
Sleep deprivation hits us where it hurts – especially in these days when money feels really scarce! One of the effects of lack of sleep is reduced productivity. It impairs the ability to read, write, react, reason and make decisions – in fact, every faculty that you need to get the job done well. Guess when doctors are most likely to order the wrong medications for hospital patients: at the end of a long, nightshift. Guess when nurses are most likely to give the wrong medications: ditto. And the list goes on. When you are dealing with stress and pressure you need to be able to think and respond clearly.
Are You Sleep-Deprived?
Take this simple test developed by Dr. William Dement, director of the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic. If you answer yes to any question, you need more sleep.
- Do you have to rely on an alarm clock to get you out of bed in the morning?
- Do you ever sleep through your alarm?
- Is getting out of bed a struggle?
- Do you ever experience waves of drowsiness in school, at work or at the movies?
- Do you ever fall asleep without intending to?
- Do you ever wonder where your get-up-and-go has gone?
- Does a single glass of beer or wine hit you unexpectedly hard?
- I like to do a simple meditation before going to sleep. It ends the day and gets me in a quiet mood for sleep.
- I always find a remedy for insomnia in my list of stress herbs. Try valerian or kava kava to help you get a good night’s sleep.
- Can’t switch your mind off at bed time? I find that a rhythmic circular breathing exercise for sleep always does the trick.
- Are you getting enough sleep? Check out the signs of sleep deprivation.
- Make sure that you know the causes of chronic insomnia – then do something about them!
- Learn more about why you can’t get to sleep.
A good night’s sleep is essential for living better everyday!
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